What’s The Difference Between First And Third Party Cookies?
First party cookies are cookies that are set up by a company on their own web domain. First party cookies are most commonly used for collecting analytic data and for remembering user preferences (e.g. login information and language settings.) The data stored by first party cookies are only used by the organisation that gathered them and aren’t shared between organisations.
Third party cookies are cookies that are provided by a separate domain (as the name suggests.) These cookies usually track user data to share between domains. This is used for more accurate advertising, especially re-marketing campaigns.
Public Perception of Cookies
In recent years, the public’s desire for privacy when browsing the web has increased a great deal. Therefore, the idea of a person’s activity on one site being recorded and sent to a multitude of other sites may not sit right with them. Due to this, many people installed programs with the intentions of blocking third party cookies from their browsers.
To accompany the public’s views on them in 2020, Apple disabled cookies by default on their safari browser. As of august 2022, accounts for 18.78% of the web’s total traffic. Google has announced that by the end of 2024, Google Chrome will stop allowing the use of third party cookies all together. This accounts for a huge 65.52% of the web’s traffic. While this could be seen as a good thing in terms of privacy, it leaves advertisers in a sticky situation as one of their most valuable tools used for re-marketing campaigns will no longer be effective. All hope isn’t lost though, there are workarounds that will allow you to track users more broadly and assemble your marketing campaigns around the data you collect.
Google Privacy Sandbox
Proposing a solution to this predicament, Google have created the Privacy Sandbox. Google Privacy Sandbox is a group of technologies that aim to help marketers in a post cookie era. The main tool that they’re developing is Google Topics, a way of grouping users together into audiences of similar interests. This allows Google’s AI to gather data on users, decide what interests they may have, and display ads based on these interests. This aims to gather the highest chance of getting a user to click on an add. It’s a way of tracking users without impeaching on their privacy, instead of each user being tracked individually. They’re placed into large groups of interests. This means, a single user’s use of the web will not be as easily tracked as they will be part of a larger statistic allowing safety in numbers.
META Conversion API
The META Pixel. The tool most commonly used when tracking data for META’s platforms. Facebook and Instagram included, META Pixel is a technology based on third party cookies and will therefore become much less effective as chrome stops supporting them. The alternative that META has offered is the META Conversion API (CAPI.) This is a way of tracking events on a website and sending this data to META so that they can better serve ads to customers. This API works completely server side as opposed to the pixel that runs browser side, meaning it will not be affected by the removal of cookies. This means, CAPI will be a massively useful tool for marketers as we move into a world without cookies.
In conclusion, the removal of cookies from Apple and Google will serve as a massive change for marketers trying to deliver ads to the most appropriate users. There will be many alternatives in order to optimise advertising campaigns to ensure proper business growth over the internet.